100 Best First Lines from Novels

By Camille T. RSS Mon, September 27, 2010

The American Book Review released a list of what they consider the 100 Best First Lines from Novels. It's a pretty interesting list, and some of my personal favorites made the cut:

#5. Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. —Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita (1955)

#6. Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. —Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina (1877; trans. Constance Garnett)

#16. If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth. —J. D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye (1951)

#65. You better not never tell nobody but God. —Alice Walker, The Color Purple (1982)

#82. I write this sitting in the kitchen sink. —Dodie Smith, I Capture the Castle (1948)

You can also check out their list of 100 Best LAST Lines from Novels.

So what are some of your favorite openings and closings of novels?

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